Democratic governors launch interstate coalition to stop gun violence

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joined the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island to form a coalition of like-minded states on gun control, hoping to make progress where they see the federal government has faltered.

While the country struggles in the wake of Florida's recent school shooting, lawmakers both nationally and at the state level are looking at more gun measures to implement. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy also participated in the conference call.

The consortium will aim to assess gun violence data across disciplines, including criminal justice, public health public policy and social welfare, then use the data to make recommendations for reducing gun violence.

The coalition will start a multi-state task force to trace the sale and use of out-of-state guns in crimes, the group's memorandum says.

Parents of victims, as well as survivors of the Parkland school shooting, berated President Trump at the White House Wednesday. The governors say the move ensures that states will be able to more effectively prevent certain people from buying guns, obtaining weapons, or getting gun permits. He noted the USA outlawed machine guns in the 1930s, but said it has gone backward since by allowing the sale of military-style weapons, such as the AR-15. The idea is to take action where the federal government won't. "But, even more importantly, a collective of states can take these steps together broaden the reach and impact of commonsense gun safety laws".

The coalition will allow the states to share information regarding people who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.

The states will also work in cooperation to enhance intelligence gathering, information sharing and response efforts related to gun violence. People can be disqualified from owning firearms firearms because of an arrest warrant, order of protection, debilitating mental health condition or criminal history, among other reasons. Gun trafficking groups have often been found to buy guns, particularly handguns, in states south of NY along the Interstate 95 corridor, nicknamed the Iron Pipeline, and then drive them to the Northeast.

Cuomo described the measures recently floated in Washington, including a ban on so-called bump-stocks and an increase in the age at which teens can purchase assault rifles, as "crumbs" that would do little to curb violence. The states also are pursuing a Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium.

"Let's be clear what "comprehensive background checks" means - subjecting all commercial sales (gun stores/shows, online sales) to checks", Murphy wrote in a tweet.

  • Santos West